Despite the vast space in space, stuff still bumps into other celestial objects and smashes them.
The James Webb Space Telescope, a powerful observatory orbiting the sun about a million miles from Earth, has made it much easier to view space impacts. The galaxy, known as the Cartwheel Galaxy, shows what happened after a smaller galaxy impaled a large spiral galaxy. The shockwaves from the crash ignited star-forming hotbeds.
As well as Hubble, other telescopes have previously studied the Cartwheel in the Sculptor constellation, which was reshaped over billions of years by a collision. Since much of the galaxy's structure remains hidden from view, astronomers have been unable to discover much of its structure. Using the new photo released on Tuesday, NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency demonstrate the power of their new telescope once again.
Using Webb, which can see through previously impenetrable space mirk, forensic analysis of the Cartwheel Galaxy has been improved. In addition to a deep canvas of distant galaxies upon galaxies, astronomers have seen baby stars at its outer edges, a supermassive black hole at its centre, and two smaller companion galaxies.
Cartwheels are unique galaxies that have two concentric rings. A black hole surrounded by dense gas and hot dust lies at the center of the galaxy. Older stars dominate the most blistering areas, while supernovae and young stars abound in the outer rim, which has expanded over 440 million years.
"As this [outer] ring expands, it plows into surrounding gas and triggers star formation."
"As this [outer] ring expands," according to the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, "it plows into surrounding gas and triggers star formation."
Blue, orange, and yellow indicate the near-infrared camera data from the telescope. Star nurseries or individual stars can be seen as blue dots. This camera also displays the contrasting smooth old star regions and clumpy new star areas.
With Webb's mid-infrared instrument, astronomers are also learning more about dust in the galaxy. Red data shows regions rich in hydrocarbons, silica similar to that found on Earth, and other compounds. As a result of these chemicals, a spiralling wheel spoke framework is formed.
Webb's picture is much more detailed than the Hubble photo taken four years ago, according to scientists.
QUESTION: Should Hubble be taken out the back and shot?
Or does it still hold valuable use for mankind?
Let us know in the comments and keep thrusting Australia into the deep unknown…